2 On The Road Blog

After 12 years of full-time rving, we've sold our truck and trailer but we're still traveling. Email us at wowpegasus@hotmail.com if you would like to contact us.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia - Part 2

The Governor's Palace as seen from Palace Green, a two-block by one-block stretch of grass in front of the palace.  The Governors sent by the British kings led the colony of Virginia from this building.  As with most of the buildings in Colonial Williamsburg, it was reconstructed in the 1900's using plans found in London and the measurements taken by Thomas Jefferson during his days as governor.

Catalpa trees grow along both sides of the green.  I've seen photos of the beautiful flowers they produce in the spring...

but we were here during the time they were hanging with their fruit, 10" to 18" long, bean-shaped capsules.  A local said they are also called a cigar tree.
Another tree seen in abundance at Colonial Williamsburg is the crepe myrtle.
They were just starting to flower.  A local told us that they will flower all summer and are covered in blooms that range from white to red with some even in purple shades.

Once in the palace we saw this map of the colonies that extended each one as far west as the Pacific although this are was all unexplored by Europeans at this time.  Virginia was the largest of the colonies.

The front hall of the Palace was adorned with dozens of swords, rifles and pistols.

The Virginia crest surrounded by pistols.

After the hall we were lead upstairs to the bedrooms.  The bed curtains are made of cotton imported from England.  Even the top made of wood, is covered in cotton.

All the tours were led by people dressed as 1770's Williamsburg residents.

One room was covered in red wallpaper.  All the woodwork and doors had gold-painted edging.

The stairs had inlay work.

The ballroom where the governor and his guests danced through the night.

Don't you just want this carpet in your home?

I'm not sure what this piece was but it had a foot pedal on the front.

Window in the dining hall.  The wall color is not right in this photo.. I'm assuming it is because of the light coming through the window.
This is the real color of the dining hall.  Notice that the floors are not varnished.  This is true of all the buildings at Williamsburg where the floor is not covered by carpet.

We exited the building out the back where the gardens were very sculpted.

The Thomas Everard House is one of the few original buildings in the town. 

This dish storage closet off the dining room was called a "bowfat", a corruption of the French buffet.

This is a plate warming stand.  It would hold a stack of plates by the fire to warm them before food was served.

Much research was done to restore this house to how it looked when Mr. Everard owned it.  Pieces of flocked wallpaper were found under the crown molding.  These were analyzed and an inquiry was made to a London company that creates wallpaper for restorations.   It was determined that Mr. Everard had ordered his wallpaper from this company 250 years earlier and they still had the design blocks in their warehouse and was able to make some for the restoration.
The flooring was made of fabric that was treated so it created a surface that was less porous and stain resistant. 

The parlor had full-coverage carpeting.  The wall covering is a paint made from the scrapings of oxidized copper.  The tour guide told us that it is very expensive and that how it looks now is less bright that it was when it was painted during the reconstruction. 

We were told the chairs are venture chairs.  That means they were made by New England craftsman during lax times when they did not have enough orders to keep everyone busy.  These chairs were then shipped further south in the colonies.

In this house we learned how Peyton Randolph died during a trip to Philadelphia in November of 1775.  His death left the lives of his wife and slaves in limbo.  The tour was very informative, as were most of the tours in Colonial Williamsburg.
We were here on July 4th so we got to see the following Salute to the States.
A large area of Market Square was cordoned off with these canon at one end.

We heard fife and drums and three rows of soldiers marched onto the field.

They were followed by the fife and drum marching band.

The three groups of soldiers lined up in one row facing east.

Then they all presented their rifles...

armed them...

put them all back to their shoulders when they were done arming the rifles..

Then fired them, one group at a time

I believe they called it a Volley of Joy.

Looks like a gun at the far end didn't fire correctly.

Then the soldiers moved to the east and the band moved up.

The soldiers put their rifles into pyramid forms.

The flags of each of the colonies was walked onto the field.

The representatives of each colony were proclaimed as the flag was displayed, then the band would play the theme song of the colony as the flag would be moved walked forward.  Then the canon would be fired.  This flag is Connecticut.

Notice the fife holders.

The outfits were beautiful.

The cannons created a lot of smoke.

This little guy had quite a time of staying upright as the wind would occasionally gust, effects of Hurricane Arthur passing by the Virginia coast.   I did see the band flag holder get blow sideways once.

At the end of each song the drummers would raise their sticks, put them in their right hand and lower them to their sides.

All parade participants leaving the field.
Our last stop in Colonial Williamsburg was the Capitol.  This is another reconstruction.

There was a small moat running around the exterior.

The tour first led us into the meeting room of the Virginia House of Burgess, the first legislative assembly of elected representatives in North America.

The dais of the Speaker of the House.

The highest court in Virginia met here lead by the Governor.

There were lots of disfigured tree trunks in town.  I think this is a Catalpa tree.

From a distance it almost looks like it is two different kinds of trees wound together.

We also found this grove of bamboo.

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